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When TV goes from bad to depressing

So yes, I finally saw the grown-up all-new Anandi in Balika Vadhu (Colors). After a five-year jump, we were introduced to the still sweet-as-sugar Anandi (if she were any sweeter, she'd become a health hazard) who has spent these years pining for her husband Jagiya (I still find it bizarre to refer to a boy as a 'husband'). Poonam Saxena writes.

tv Updated: Jul 30, 2010 23:23 IST
Poonam Saxena

So yes, I finally saw the grown-up all-new Anandi in Balika Vadhu (Colors). After a five-year jump, we were introduced to the still sweet-as-sugar Anandi (if she were any sweeter, she'd become a health hazard) who has spent these years pining for her husband Jagiya (I still find it bizarre to refer to a boy as a 'husband').

Despite being confronted with various calamities, big and small (her father goes missing after he's released from jail - big calamity; a local Bad Character runs away with a gift she buys for Jagiya - small calamity), Anandi retains her, er, sweetness. Now we have to wait and see how her new married life unfolds in her sasural.

Plenty of meat there for a zillion more episodes — sullen Dadisa will be up to her nasty old tricks again, not to mention what a new grown-up life around the all-new grown-up Jagiya will be like. My only fear: Despite the five-year time jump, the serial will continue to be flooded with tears in every episode.

A new serial has started on Imagine, Rakt Sambandh, about a father and his five wonderful daughters. It opened with the wedding of the youngest (who also happens to be blind) and the murder of the father. But if the serial-makers introduced these two events — a wedding and a funeral — right in the beginning, thinking that they'd grab viewers by their collars and compel them to watch, they were mistaken. Because characters keep dying like flies in serials and weddings take place all the time. Without both these devices, I doubt if a script can be written for any of the entertainment channels.

Real-life drama of another kind unfolded on our TV screens all of Friday — the marital trauma in the Mahajan household. Apparently, Rahul Mahajan beat up his wife Dimpy (who he'd married recently on a reality show); she appeared in front of TV cameras to say that she was very "very hurt," but that he was "very sorry," and that she wanted to be "left alone" for the time being.

News channels (Star News, Aaj Tak) went into a spin, bombarding us with episodes from Rahul Dulhania Le Jayega (the show on which he married Dimpy) and Bigg Boss (where he was a housemate and hung out with all the girls). Frankly, it's a bit depressing to think that someone like Rahul Mahajan — known primarily for beating up his wives (he apparently assaulted his first wife too) — can become a TV star.

And if you thought that all this bad publicity would be bad for Rahul, you thought wrong. According to the PR industry, highly negative publicity is the best kind of publicity because then the person in question is on TV all the time. And for people who are famous for being notorious, what could be better? Their future as TV celebrities depends on how much they can be in the news every now and then. Now expect Rahul to give 'exclusive' interviews explaining his part of the story…

As I said, rather depressing.

And finally. I caught the opening episode of Chhote Ustad (Star Plus) where boys and girls from India and Pakistan are participating in a music contest. The two judges are Sonu Nigaam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. At the moment we've just been introduced to the kids, most of whom sing very well. The introductory episode was very high on emotion, so I shudder to think what will happen when the kids start getting eliminated one by one.

Frankly, a bit depressing.

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